Council refuses to cancel roofer’s £300 bill for crisp packets in van

Council refuses to cancel roofer’s £300 bill for keeping empty crisp packets in his work van without a rubbish licence but he vows not to pay the fine

  • Stewart Gosling kept a stash of packets and water bottles in a plastic waste bag 
  • The 43-year-old was pulled over by council workers carrying out spot checks 
  • They told him he was breaking the law by carrying rubbish without permission 
  • Deputy council leader Clyde Loakes has said inspectors found more than crisp packets in the back of the van 

A council is refusing to back down and cancel a roofer’s £300 fine- which he claims was for keeping empty crisp packets in his work van without a rubbish licence.

Stewart Gosling, 43, kept the stash of empty crisp packets and water bottles in a plastic commercial waste bag in the back of his white van.

But when he was pulled over by council workers carrying out spot checks, they told him he was breaking the law for carrying the rubbish without permission.

Deputy leader at Waltham Forest Council Clyde Loakes told John Humphrys on the BBC’s flagship Today programme this morning that they found more than has been suggested.

Council workers carrying out spot checks pulled over Mr Gosling and told him he had no permission to carry the rubbish (pictured). Councillor Clyde Loakes (pictured right) said inspectors found more in the van than Mr Gosling is suggesting

He said: ‘Our inspectors did find a little bit more than Mr Gosling is suggested was in the back of his van and the picture that has been used by some of the newspapers does not show the full extent of what the inspectors found.’

He later added: ‘The bottom line is that Mr Gosling admitted he did not have a trade waste licence and has since applied for a trade waste licence.’

When Mr Humphry’s asked Mr Gosling if he would pay the fine he replied bluntly ‘no’.

Previously Mr Gosling said: ‘It’s so infuriating. The working-class man gets penalised for going to work basically.

‘I’ve not fly-tipped. I’ve not left it in someone’s garden. It’s frustrated the hell out of me.

‘There was just a bag of rubbish, bottles, crisp packets, newspapers and sandwich wrappers.

Mr Gosling (pictured) was fined more than £300 for keeping the stash of rubbish in his van

‘What gets me is the lack of common sense. It’s a lot of money for one bag of rubbish.’

The roofing contractor was driving through Chingford in North East London when he was pulled over by Waltham Forest Council workers.

They searched his vehicle before asking him if he had a waste carriers’ licence – required by any business that transports commercial refuse.

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Stewart, a married father-of-four, said: ‘I got out of the van and he had a look.

‘They were talking about a plastic bag around two feet high, which was filled with rubbish from my lunch. He just said, “You’re going to be fined.”‘

Stewart from Cheshunt, Herts., was handed a fixed penalty notice for ‘failure to furnish documentation (waste carriers licence)’.

The roofer said that he was penalised by council enforcers for being a working class man trying to earn money 

This penalty was issued by council workers after they carried out a spot check on Simon Gosling

What are the rules on carrying commercial waste? 

To transport waste you must register for an Environment Agency Waste Carriers Licence.

You must also have one if you buy, sell or dispose of waste.

An upper tier licence is necessary to carry other people’s waste.

If you are carrying your own construction-related waste you need an upper tier licence.

Licences last for three years, and is a fixed fee.

You can register for the lower tier for free, but the upper tier registration costs £154 and there is no additional  VAT cost.

You can apply here.

He was ordered to pay £300 within 14 days of May 23, when the incident occurred.

Stewart said he appealed the sanction, but there was a ‘delay’ in the council’s response.

When he did find out his appeal was declined, he claims he asked for clarification on the cost of the fine but was on holiday when the local authority replied.

Stewart could be prosecuted for failing to pay the penalty on time, but says he has no plans to settle the fine.

He added: ‘It seems a bit steep to be honest. A warning would have been more understandable.

‘It just aggravated me. It should be common sense. I had no idea you needed a waste licence, you have to be polite to these people but it annoyed me.’

A Waltham Forest Council spokesman said: ‘The waste in this case was being transported in commercial refuse bag in the trader’s vehicle.

‘Regardless of what the items are, if waste is being stored in a commercial refuse bag in a trader’s van it is necessary that they have a valid waste carriers’ license (sic).

‘It is widely recognised as best practice for tradesmen to be licensed to avoid legal repercussions, in the event they are required to transport even small quantities of waste.’


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